Cross-arm push-up exercise

Cross-arm push-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Lower Pectoralis Major, Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (short head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Get into a high plank or push-up position.
  2. Rotate your arms so that your fingers are facing each other.
  3. Keeping your arms internally rotated, cross your hands, allowing one wrist to be in front of the other.


  1. Keeping your body straight, inhale as you lower your chest towards the floor.
  2. Exhale as you push your chest back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the desired number of prescriptions.

Comments and tips

  • The cross-arm push-up is not a recommended exercise, since it places your arms in internal rotation. Your elbows tend to flare out, which may place stress on your elbows. This makes it potentially harmful for your elbows. In addition, the elbows often hit the floor when performing the cross-arm push-up, adding to the harm it could cause.
  • With push-ups and pushing exercises, it is best to keep the elbows close to the body.
  • The close-grip push-up and diamond push-up work the same muscles as the cross-arm push-up does, without causing the elbows to flare out. These are the preferred push-up exercises.
  • See also the close-grip push-up on knees and the diamond push-up on knees.

Cross-arm push-up video

Sources, Elbow Articulations

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